SOCIALIST Party president Fred M’membe says there were many factors that can explain the party’s performance.
And Dr M’membe says it is good to have females leading key organisations and key institutions of the State.
In an interview on Costa Mwansa’s Costa on Diamond on Sunday evening, Dr M’membe said what was witnessed in the August elections was not the result expected and, or wanted by the leftist political party.
“Yes, the result was surprising. It’s not the result that we expected. It’s not the result that we wanted but the whole process was not just about one election. It’s a process. We were 15 candidates, almost like 14, 15 parties. Definitely only one party would win,” he said. “We are not the first party to lose an election and moreover after losing an election you have to take stock of what happened. Where did you go wrong? There were many factors that can explain our performance.”
Dr M’membe said some factors were internal, some external, “some under control and some not so much under control but lessons have been learnt”.
He said for now his party has to reorganise and push on for the future as the Socialist Party still has a role to play.
He noted that in a multiparty dispensation, governing is not all about the ruling party as the opposition also have a key role to play.
“Without an opposition, governance becomes very difficult and dangerously so. We saw what happened with the PF…the PF tried very hard to obliterate the opposition, to cripple the opposition. The ending is what we have now and that happens to any regime that tries to suppress the opposition, to suppress critical voices,” Dr M’membe said. “If they had allowed the proper functioning of the multiparty political dispensation, they would not have ended up the way they ended.”
He further noted that the PF wanted power which was not checked and did not believe in checks and balances but power which was absolute.
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And we can see it in the way the PF ended. The beginning of any regime is usually on a popular note. More so the people today we call dictators when they came to power were celebrated. Even Idi Amini when he came to power he was celebrated. Mobutu [Sese Seko] was celebrated, Ceausescu [Nicolae] in Romania was
celebrated but look at the ending!” he noted. “Usually and that’s how power that is
not checked, power that has no breaks ends.”
Dr M’membe maintained that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self-limitation and modest and without that the ending is disastrous.
“I hope all of us including our brothers and sisters who are in government today have learnt from this and many other aspects of history. Power must be shared with others,” he stressed.
Dr M’membe further noted that the Socialist Party’s loss had nothing to do with the
message as it was perfect and well but that other factors externally played a part.
He said one of the factors was that people had decided to change government as it was a swing from one end of the pendulum to the other and that it was difficult to stop it in the middle of the road.
“The other factor among others was the administration of the election that we did not pay attention to which in some way were created by the PF’s own practices over the years that led to their opponents organising in a much more smarter way – literally outdoing them at
their own game,” he noted.
Dr M’membe hopes that the practices witnessed in the last elections do not continue in the future.
He said the practices might have been necessary to remove the PF but must end there.
Dr M’membe warned that if they continued in the future, the country’s electoral process would be in a shambles and create chaos.
And in his congratulatory message to Speaker and first deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti and Attractor Chisangano respectively, Dr M’membe said it was a delight to all.
He hopes the appointment of Zambia’s first female Speaker by the UPND government would also be reflective in their Cabinet.
“First of all I must congratulate the newly elected Speaker of the House Madam Nelly Mutti and the deputy. It’s good to have females leading key organisations, key institutions of the state. It is the first time we are having a female Speaker. It is a delight to all of us,” Dr M’membe said. “We just hope this will also be reflective in their Cabinet appointments although we have a very small number of females elected to parliament this year.”
He said he would like to see more women in cabinet, if not from those elected but those nominated.
Talking about the composition of parliament, Dr M’membe said it is not much of those in the opposition but how vibrant those in the House would be.
“59, 60 and a few independents is a big number of opposing views if they work hard and vibrant and on top of things we will have a lively parliament,” said Dr M’membe.